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Impressive Runs by Kononova, Kutubidze End in Semifinals of ITA Texas Regional

Impressive Runs by Kononova, Kutubidze End in Semifinals of ITA Texas Regional

Doubles partners Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze pose for a picture during a break at practice. Sara Carpenter

Impressive Runs by Kononova, Kutubidze End in Semifinals of ITA Texas Regional
October 19
19:48 2017

Impressive Runs by Kononova, Kutubidze End in Semifinals of ITA Texas Regional

In the semifinals of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s Texas Regional on Monday, Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze were eliminated.

Coming into the tournament, the highly ranked doubles pair held the No. 22 nationally ranked seed and landed the top seed in the tournament. The top tier duo lost in one of the most convincing matches of the new year to the No. 8-seeded University of Texas 6-7(10, 6-3, 7-5)

“I felt great compared to last year’s experience in the tournament,” Kutubidze said. “We know we can work and improve upon, but bringing the same energy everyday is most important.”

This tournament was something to be proud of for the program’s history. This was only the third time a North Texas doubles team has made the semifinals of the Texas Regional. The last time they had advanced this far was last year as the girls went in as the No. 8-seed.

Despite the elimination one day away from the championship, head coach Sujay Lama is determined he and his team can take a lot of good things out of this tournament to mold the young unit to become something to fear for years to come.  

“Look at Maria and Tamuna and how far they’ve gotten. There’s no doubt we have the talent, work ethic, and now, the maturity. They’re capable of winning tough matches like these, and if we have that culture of excellence to build from, then it’ll only get better,” Lamas added on what the team learned from the tournament.  

Away from the doubles side of the tournament, the Mean Green’s No. 3-seeded Kononova lost in singles draw to the top-seeded Bianca Turati of the University of Texas 6-0, 6-1. Both of whom are nationally ranked, Kononova at No. 41, Turati at No. 24.

However, Kononova became the only player in North Texas tennis program history to reach the semifinals of the tournament in single draw. The team as a whole collected a win total of 12 matches, surpassing the the team’s previous outcome last year at the ITA Texas Regional by four.

“No matter what the situation is, they stay poised,” Lamas said. “The game has slowed down for them, and they have two more seasons to do something special.”

North Texas looks to bounce back in the River Oaks Country Club Invite on Nov. 3 to No. 5 from Houston.

Featured Image: Doubles partners Maria Kononova and Tamuna Kutubidze pose for a picture during a break at practice last season. Sara Carpenter

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Thomas Escobar

Thomas Escobar

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